Portable Photo Printer Buyer’s Guide

With a growing number of mobile photo printers on the market, finding the right one for your needs is an increasingly difficult task. Each mobile printer works to put its strengths on display, but knowing the specifications to look for that will actually benefit you can be tough. That is why it is so important to look at multiple mobile photo printers at the same time.

Having the right mobile printer can elevate your smartphone photography experience. By giving you the ability to get fast, high-quality photos, your favorite pictures in your camera roll or social media accounts become even more enjoyable.

This article is meant to serve as a comparative guide to some of the most popular mobile photo printers on the market. We’ll provide some of the basic technical information for each printer as well as some observations about the user experience. By highlighting the pros and cons of each printer, it will become easier to determine which printer has the features that will serve you best.

Compact Printers

For many users, mobile is the most important word in mobile photo printer. The more compact a printer is, the easier the printer is to travel with. These compact printers have taken the fun of mobile printing and put it into the smallest designs possible.

A compact printer is ideal for photo printing on the go. These printers make it easy to take a picture, edit it on location, and get a high-quality print in minutes. With a variety of editing features, these printers add fun embellishments to add a touch of personality to each print, making it simple to capture the emotion of any moment.

If you are looking for a simple photo printer that you can toss in your purse or backpack and use wherever inspiration strikes, a compact mobile printer may be the best option for you. Below is a comparison guide to three compact options.

  HP Sprocket Canon Zoemini Polaroid Zip
Dimensions 3.15” x 4.63” x 0.98” 3.2” x 4.7” x 0.7” 2.9” x 4.7” x 0.9”
Weight 0.38 lbs. 0.35 lbs. 0.41 lbs.
Print Size 2” x 3” 2” x 3” 2” x 3”
Compatible App HP Sprocket App Canon Mini Print App Polaroid Zip App
Editing Features Take Photo, Autofix, Filters, Text, Borders, Color Adjust, Photobooth Mode Take Photo, Color Adjustments, Stickers, Filters, Frames, Collage, Tile Take Photo, Filters, Color Adjustment, Stickers
Connectivity Bluetooth Bluetooth Bluetooth / NFC
Battery Life Print Resolution 20 Prints Per Charge 25 Prints Per Charge
Print Resolution 313 x 400 dpi 314 x 400 dpi 320 dpi

HP Sprocket

The HP Sprocket provides all the fun of photo printing in a remarkably portable package. Small enough to fit in your jean pocket, the Sprocket offers high-resolution printing without the need for ink or cartridges. Connect to this printer using your iOS or Android device with intuitive and simple Bluetooth connectivity.

The HP Sprocket focuses on giving you the tools you need to express yourself in any situation. This model comes in 4 unique colors (Luna Pearl, Noir, Blush, and Lilac) so that the printer matches your aesthetic even when it isn’t printing. With the HP Sprocket app, you have the ability to edit your photos and add fun personal touches to make your photos truly yours.

Overall, the HP Sprocket is a simple, affordable way to dive into the world of mobile printing. Designed for easy travel and use, this Sprocket makes mobile printing as fun as possible by removing complications for the simplest photo printing experience.

Canon Zoemini

With a compact and slim design, the Canon Zoemini is the most portable photo printer that Canon offers. The Zoemini provides 314 x 400 dpi printing on 2” x 3” prints. Using the Canon Mini Print app, you can take photos, edit them, and print them directly from your smartphone. Bluetooth connectivity makes it easy to connect your iOS or Android device to this printer for a seamless printing experience.

This printer is available in three different colors and utilizes sticky-backed photo paper to help you create the photos you want. With Zink technology, this printer gives you excellent prints in as little as 30 seconds without the hassle of cartridges and ink.

Polaroid Zip

History can be a great indicator of what is yet to come, and Polaroid’s history as a photo company certainly works its way into this Zip printer. The Polaroid Zip is a deliberately simple design to take the complication out of photo printing. With the Polaroid Zip app, you have the ability to perform basic photo editing functions and print directly from your smart device.

Fully charge the Polaroid Zip in as little as 90 minutes. The compact design makes this printer easy to travel with, and with Zink technology, this printer provides quality printing without ink cartridges.

Midrange Printers

Mobile photo printing does not have to mean sacrificing quality. A midrange mobile printer works to provide a higher-quality mobile printing experience without adding unnecessary complications. Working much like the compact printers, these midrange printers are user-friendly and remarkably mobile.

A midrange printer is a great fit for anyone looking to catalog a series of memories. Any of these midrange printers would be easy to bring with you on a vacation or short trip. These versatile printers are up for an adventure at any moment without making large concessions regarding print quality.

If you really value the mobility of a printer but want to get the highest print quality possible, a midrange printer is worth looking into. Below is a comparison guide between three midrange printers.

  HP Sprocket Select Canon Ivy Fujifilm Instax Mini Link
Dimensions 3.48” x 5.13” x 0.69” 3.2” x 4.7” x 0.7” 3.5” x 4.9” x 1.8”
Weight 0.40 lbs. 0.35 lbs. 0.35 lbs.
Print Size 2.3” x 3.4” 2” x 3” 1.8” x 2.4”
Compatible App HP Sprocket App Canon Mini Print Instax Mini Link
Print Technology ZINK Zero Ink ZINK Zero Ink Instax Mini Film
Connectivity Bluetooth Bluetooth Bluetooth
Battery Life 35 Prints Per Charge 20 Prints Per Charge 100 Prints Per Charge
Print Resolution 321 x 600 dpi

314 x 400 dpi

318 dpi

HP Sprocket

The Sprocket Select is a step up in size and quality without sacrificing any portability. Using the HP Sprocket app, the Sprocket Select grants you access to exclusive editing features, including frames, stickers, AR, and other fun embellishments.

With a compact body design, the Sprocket Select is easy to carry in larger pockets or pack into purses, backpacks, and any other small bag. Compatible with Android and iOS operating systems, the Sprocket Select offers high-quality printing for crystal clear images. This printer utilizes Zink technology for efficient, environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective printing. Connect via Bluetooth to print new photos or pictures from linked social media accounts on the go.

Each print from the Sprocket Select is 2.3” x 3.4”, making them perfect for decorating all kinds of spaces. This printer uses Zink sticky-backed photo paper so your pictures can stick to scrapbooks, photo walls, and any other areas that can use a burst of personality. With larger prints and a high print quality, the Sprocket Select helps turn your pictures into lasting memories that truly stand out.

Canon Ivy

Coming in three unique colors, the Canon Ivy slots nicely into the mobile printer market by providing 2” x 3” prints. With Bluetooth connectivity, iOS and Android devices can quickly connect to and print from the Canon Ivy. The 314 x 400 dpi print resolution fits within the standard range of mobile printers and provides sticky-backed Zink prints.

Using the Canon Mini Print app, the Canon Ivy can print from your camera roll or connected social media accounts. Prints take as little as 50 seconds, and the editing features of the Canon Mini Print app allow you to get the print you are looking for each time.

Fujifilm Instax Mini Link

Built with collaboration in mind, the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link makes mobile photo printing an interactive experience. The Instax Mini Link app works to connect your iOS and Android devices to the printer and offers a variety of editing modes. With fun mode and surprise mode, multiple users can work together on a single print, often leading to quirky and fun mismatched photos.

Other printing modes like collage print and split print add even more variety to the kinds of prints this unit offers. The battery fully charges in 120 minutes or less, and the printer comes in three unique colors (Dark Denim, Ash White, and Dusky Pink). Using Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film, prints are fed out very quickly but take some time to develop once outside the printer.

Larger Printers

Professional quality photo printing no longer requires a complicated printer. These larger mobile photo printers turn phone pictures into works of art quickly and simply. The bigger body designs allow these printers to provide higher-quality printing while maintaining some of the mobile elements the smaller printers offer.

These printers are great for users looking to print frame-ready photos from their smartphone. The higher print quality makes these pictures perfect for home decoration, post cards, and other creative projects.

If print size and quality matter far more to you than printer mobility, these larger printers may be for you. Below is a comparison guide to three larger options.

  HP Sprocket Studio Canon Selphy CP1300 Kodak Dock
Dimensions 6.65” x 10.75” x 2.68” 5.4” x 7” x 2.5” 3.9” x 6.6” x 2.7”
Weight 2.05 lbs. 1.9 lbs. 1.68 lbs.
Print Size 4” x 6” 4” x 6”, 2.1” x 2.1”, 2” x 6” 4” x 6”
Connectivity Bluetooth Bluetooth Wi-Fi / USB
Paper Capacity 20 Sheets 18 Sheets 10 Sheets
Compatible App HP Sprocket App Canon PRINT App Kodak Dock App

HP Sprocket Studio

Boasting the highest print quality among the Sprocket lineup, the Sprocket Studio gives you all the fun of mobile photo printing and turns it into 4” x 6”, frame-ready prints. Bluetooth connectivity makes this printer remarkably easy to use and allows you to invite your friends into the creative process of mobile photo printing.

This printer takes your mobile pictures and turns them into enduring staples around your home by allowing you to print 4” x 6” photos from your Apple or Android device. By combining a larger print size with a higher print quality, the Sprocket Studio gives you the advantages of a mobile printer while operating like a professional photo printer.

The included power supply works with any standard outlet, or you can purchase the additional power bank to use this printer on the go. The minimal design still offers a degree of portability that many printers do not offer, while the smart technology provides top notch printing.

Canon Selphy CP1300

The Canon Selphy CP1300 provides high-quality printing in a versatile package. This printer offers 300 dpi image quality and prints 4” x 6”, 2.1” x 2.1” squares, and 2” x 6” photo booth layout prints. With no built-in battery, this printer comes with a power supply and an optional battery pack for more portable use is available as an additional purchase.

Connection to this printer is also versatile with USB ports, memory card slots, and Wi-Fi connectivity. This printer has a built-in screen and button-operated control panel for easy use even without your smart device.

Kodak Dock

With a 4” x 6” print size, the Kodak Dock provides high print quality for larger mobile printing. Connecting your phone to the Kodak Dock is remarkably simple with the physical connection ports with adaptability for iOS and Android devices. Print as you would with other mobile printers with Wi-Fi connectivity, or use the USB connection port for fast printing.

Using dye-sublimation technology, each photo prints quickly and comes out waterproof and fingerprintproof. The Kodak Dock is also able to charge your phone while it is in use, helping this printer meet multiple needs.

Find Your Perfect Printer

Ultimately, the right photo printer for you is the one with the functionality to match your needs. While a wide variety of mobile photo printers are on the market, the HP Sprockets stand out for being remarkably simple, user-friendly, and incredibly fun.

Whether you are looking for supreme portability or unrivaled print quality, there is an HP Sprocket that will fit perfectly into your life. No matter which printer you wind up selecting, what really matters is capturing the important moments of your life and having a lasting way to cherish them.